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Body found floating in water near Gandy Bridge recovered

Detectives said the man was headed toward Picnic Island by paddleboard.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pinellas deputies recovered the body of a 60-year-old man found floating near the northside of Gandy Bridge Saturday afternoon.

At around 2:30 p.m., Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a body floating in the water near Gandy Bridge. Once they arrived, they were able to recover a man later identified as 60-year-old Daniel Lukens.

After further investigation, deputies learned that Lukens launched his paddleboard from Gandy Beach at around 12:45 p.m. with plans to paddle across Tampa Bay toward Picnic Island. 

While Lukens' paddleboard and tether were not found, he was wearing a life vest at the time that authorities recovered his body. Deputies are unsure of how long he was in the water before he was recovered. 

A Small Craft Advisory was issued for much of Saturday until 1 a.m. Sunday as weather conditions could produce strong winds on the water.

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